Thursday, January 24, 2013

BDSFail of the Day: Add Cisco to the Hate List

Another company makes the BDS collective punishers hate list:
Bessemer Venture Partners racked up a huge win today. Two years ago it invested $6 million in exchange for nearly half the equity of Israeli startup Intucell, whose networking tech lets carriers handle more mobile traffic. Today, Cisco announced plans to buy Intucell for $475 million in cash, and BVP tells me it will take nearly half that sale price.

Funding Intucell’s entire $6 million Series A round was a risky bet for Bessemer. At the time, the startup had just six employees and no customers. But together, two of Bessemer’s partners realized there was something special about Intucell and its self-organizing network (SON) software.

Intucell’s technology helps mobile carriers dynamically adjust their cellular grid to maximize mobile traffic speeds and minimize dropped calls. Without SON software, a carrier’s service slows down and becomes less stable under heavy load or when users travel to the edge of a geographic block of the static grid. Any optimization had to happen manually, which was inefficient and inadequate.

Intucell’s SON uses big data to assess the state of a network and lets a carrier’s towers communicate with each other. That way they can expand or contract their cells in real-time so customers on the fringes of a block get picked up by neighboring towers, and users in the center of that block get much better reception.

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